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Could you be friends with an anti-feminist?

(41 Posts)
SurprisinglyCalm Wed 26-Mar-14 20:35:50

Just that, really. Someone I know and used to be good friends with, who has since moved away, put something on Facebook (I know, I know) that was along the lines that women aren't constitutionally fit to be involved in public affairs. Worse still, I'm pretty sure she posted it in response to something I said. It made me feel genuinely hurt and if she'd said it in RL, I've got no idea how I'd have responded.

I've seen misogynistic 'jokes' on FB before, which have hurt me, but this felt worse because a) it had no pretence of being funny, b) it was probably aimed at me, and c) said by someone I like and was good friends with.

Because I know her so well, I know that she has become more openly anti feminist over the past few years, and also, again because I know her, I more or less know why - I.e. What in her past she's reacting to, and the male approval she's seeking etc. I feel desperately sorry for her and feel genuine compassion for her. But can I be friends with someone who thinks that who I am, what I do and believe and stand for are all fundamentally wrong? What do you think, and could you be friends with someone who is an open anti feminist?

TheArticFunky Wed 26-Mar-14 20:48:48

No I couldn't be a friend with someone like that.

AnyFucker Wed 26-Mar-14 20:49:36


AnyFucker Wed 26-Mar-14 20:50:08

Apart from being "anti feminist" she is also a rude fucker

who would want to be friends with a person like that ?

minipie Wed 26-Mar-14 20:55:56

I wouldn't call this anti feminist. She's making comments about women not about feminists. It's sexism pure and simple.

Could I be friends with them? I don't know. I have one or two male friends who come out with sexist guff sometimes. I don't stop being friends with them but I do call them on it. and it does limit how good a friend I see them as iyswim.

SurprisinglyCalm Wed 26-Mar-14 20:56:53

Yeah. To be honest, it really did knock me, and one of the problems with FB is that people feel able to say things that they are too polite to say IRL. This is someone I'd travel hours to meet up with, so it's hard to think that our differences are so great that our friendship might dwindle away. At the same time, on a less personal level, it feels utterly crap that we as women have to deal with this sort of shit - there's no way that any man would be told, with a straight face, that they are not fit to do any particular serious work. sad

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 26-Mar-14 20:57:34

One of the most important things to me in friendship is having shared values, so, no, I could not be friends with an anti-feminist, by which I assume you mean someone who is sexist and misogynistic, any more than I could be friends with a racist.

SurprisinglyCalm Wed 26-Mar-14 20:57:47

Minipie, I know from other things she's said recently that she thinks of herself as 'anti-feminist.'

MadameLeBean Wed 26-Mar-14 20:59:15


i have unfriended people (mostly blokes tbh) for posting even just ignorantly misogynistic stuff

WoTmania Wed 26-Mar-14 21:51:53

I don't think I could either. In fact I've unfriended acquaintances on FB for being anti-feminist (which to me is just posting things that go against the ideals of feminism rather than expressly anti-feminist iyswim) and one for being a Julian Assange supporter.
It is hard though when they are people you know well and care about.

MumOfTheMoos Wed 26-Mar-14 21:58:59


FloraFox Wed 26-Mar-14 22:05:38

No I couldn't be friends with someone so openly anti-feminists. I'm sure I have friends who don't think of themselves as feminists but I would unfriend someone for posting this (both on FB and IRL).

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 26-Mar-14 22:14:07

Yes, I think I could.

If she used to be a good friend I think I would value her enough to try to help her see what she is doing,and be there to catch her when she falls.

I think you can maintain a relationship through differing beliefs.

I'm even friends with some people who think that God is a man......

TheCrackFox Wed 26-Mar-14 22:15:11


My mum is anti-feminist and that can be a just a tad tiresome to say the least.

SplitHeadGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 22:34:48

Well, I will go against the grain here and say yes, I could be friends.

My best friend is not exactly ANTI-feminist.....she just thinks feminism is daft and she laughs when I talk about it. But the thing is, she is BRILLIANT!!! I can't convey in words so much how lovely, kind and just downright special she is, but she really is!! She is very beautiful, and so I think maybe that is why she doesn't see the need for feminism, because men always bend backwards for her.

She changed my life some years ago when I was in the depths of despair....she saved me and even though we disagree on these issues I can see that she is just wonderful and her lack of understanding does not bother me when it definitely would in other people!!

She is my best, most loved friend and we get on magnificently.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 26-Mar-14 22:39:58

I wouldn't be friends with idiots, no! hmm

SplitHeadGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 22:54:26

My best friend is not an idiot!!! Really, if you all had a friend who was kind, compassionate, funny, loving, would just cut her off because she did not share your views? No I do not believe it. I do NOT believe you all would just cut off your friends that you love because they do not share your outlook.

I do wish my friend was feminist in her views, but for some reason right now she isn't. She IS however brilliant with my children, lovely to me and my family (travelling from England to NI just to see us). I love her very much. If she were the most anti-feminist person in the world I doubt I would cut her off.

redrubyindigo Wed 26-Mar-14 23:00:31

Yes. She thinks she is a feminist but is a true wannabe but stuck in her role. I can only guide her.

She is getting it but slowly..............

I understand her point though............sometimes. When her husband lets her out............sigh.......

AskBasil Wed 26-Mar-14 23:03:04

Yes I think I could if her anti-feminism didn't manifest itself in this passive aggressive way of attacking you on FB.

I have a friend who teeters on the edge of being idiotic about feminism but she's just this side of the line for me to continue the friendship. But yes, it does affect the level of respect I have for her as a friend. I can't help eye-rolling inwardly at the denial and cognitive dissonance. And I can't be completely open and honest with her as I can with some friends. But still, she's a friend and I'm on her side.

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 26-Mar-14 23:10:02

Split head girl, I'm sure your friend isn't an idiot. You've made her sound lovely.

OPs friend, on the other hand, does sound like an idiot.

I have many differing interests to my friends but if she's an idiot (note that I never mentioned anti feminism, just idiot) then she's an idiot.

SplitHeadGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 23:14:57

EveesMummy...yes I see what you mean! And thanks!!! She is SO lovely!!! smile

TwittyMcTwitterson Wed 26-Mar-14 23:20:05

I'm actually feeling a bit 'aaaawwww' about your enthusiasm for your friend! grin

DonkeySkin Wed 26-Mar-14 23:32:47

Minipie raises an interesting point about what the difference is between being anti-feminist and just being sexist.

I'm friends with a few women who disavow the feminist movement, but they aren't openly sexist or anti-woman as such. One often expresses pro-woman views (as in she gets upset at various examples of sexism) and is a very supportive friend. I think she is a feminist in denial grin

I can see what Splithead girl is getting at - some women prefer not to acknowledge how unfair the world is for women, or the awful things men do to women, yet this formal denial doesn't necessarily mean they are anti-woman in practice.

OTOH, proudly misogynist women like the OP's friend are really toxic to be around, and no, I couldn't stay friends with someone like that.

SplitHeadGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 23:35:07

smile She saved my life some years ago... she really REALLY saved me. she is so vibrant and smart and just so kind and compassionate.....EveesMummy she is wonderful! I do love her, and so her not getting feminism..meh!!! I will get over it.

SplitHeadGirl Wed 26-Mar-14 23:36:09

Yes, Donkey, you have pretty much said it!!

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